phone and tent

ProjectYouth Spaces and the Alpine Tundra Regions

Youth Spaces and the Alpine Tundra Regions

The Nordic wilderness is unique and sensitive resource, where the important tourism industry needs to exist within limits of nature's toleration. Actors in this region have problems attracting the younger generation, and knowledge of some of the major tourist organisations is low within the younger demographic. The YOUSAT project proposes that to address this issue and to help the industry develop new destinations, tourism-related players should become more active within the new social media spaces, user-generated content, in combination with new mobile location-based services.

Starting with theories around map-based mobile services with multiple information layers where users can create and share travel stories in groups, this two-year project has engaged users and tourist organisations in order to come up with service design recommendations. This has resultet in a feature set then implemented as a prototype service on top of the mobile map-technology from one of the industry partners. In developing new interactive content the project has also tackled difficult issues such as solutions for lack of network coverage in these potentially remote areas.Furthermore, different business models have been evaluated within the project, and will hopefully be carried on with the continued work on the prototype service.

More specifically the main project objectives have been to:• engage user groups through participatory design methods.• provide recommendations on how to design services directed towards the younger generation as well as services based upon user-created content• develop new map-based services for creating, sharing and viewing experiences• explore potential business models for reaching the younger generation• demonstrate the possibilities with mobile technologies and web 2.0 services to create more interactive services that blends into the social spaces of the younger generation• bringing nature-based activities, new technologies and tourism closer together• develop an experience-sharing platform where users and providers can interact, share and innovate the destinations• raise awareness of possibilities with new technology and services among other tourism actors• consider local and nature interests in order to create a sustainable solution

Results

The project has had a lot of user involvement, through

  • Focus groups
  • Questionnaires for target groups
  • Scenario study
  • Tourist organization questionnaire
  • Final user study/test of the developed prototype service

and has developed a prototype service and a maploader app. Also, there are market and business model reports and more ...

Under the download section you can find more material about the project such as some of the project deliverables.

Organisation

The partners of YOUSAT are:

  • SICS (ICT research and implementation)
  • University of Tampere (ICT studies, evaluation, and design)
  • Idevio AB (Map solutions industry partner)
  • Svenska Turistföreningen (Swedish tourist org)
  • Den Norske Turistforening (Norwegian tourist org)
  • Soumen Latu (Finnish outdoor org)
  • Þróunarfélag Auturlands (Icelandish development centre)

YOUSAT is funded by the Nordic Innovation Centre under their Tourism programme together with six other projects.

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Prototype service

As a result of the initial project theories on regional issues, tourism challenges at large, social web trends, location-based mobile services, user studies, and more, the project has created a prototype service presented here.


Figure 2: The YOUSAT prototype system components

The YOUSAT prototype system comprises the following components.

  • YOUSAT server
    Database-driven web backend managing and serving YOUSAT data to Locago client and TravelTeller web site
  • Idevio servers
    Idevio’s streaming map data server and Locago static layers server
  • Locago mobile client
    The mobile client currently available as a java or android app, handling maps and interactive data layers.

A typical scenario could be as follows.

  • A group of users starts Locago on their mobile phones and retrieves the “destination” layer from the YOUSAT server which loads the YOUSAT layer and map data and a tourist organisation layer from Idevio´s servers containing e.g. information about mountain lodges.
  • A user runs the Locago app on a mobile phone while trekking

    Figure 3: Locago app showing the YOUSAT layer in map view
  • One or more of the group find interesting locations and decide to write entries using the YOUSAT Locago interactive layer’s form.
    When the entry is written, as a part of the group story, it is automatically posted to the social web (here Facebook).

    Figure 4: Facebook posts created using the YOUSAT Locago app
     
  • The online network of friends who see the entry on the web, are encouraged to click a link to view the whole story (“Read whole story” in screenshot above).
  • This takes them to the TravelTeller web site, showing the entire story content with trails and places marked on a map (using the Idevio RaveGeo Webmap javascript component). Login to TravelTeller via social web service login (currently Facebook connect) yields the possibility to edit/create content through the web interface, as requested in the questionnaires to tourist organisations.

    Figure 5: The whole group’s travel story as shown in a web browser.

 

... and a documentary video: